The Price of Atheism

This is not how most Christians behave. This is an exceptionally bad case of segregation in a small town. Though we do see occasional cases of discrimination among the wider public.

I got an email today with this clip…

I’d like to invite people to see the comments for that video as well. It’s hipocritical psudo-Christians like this that give true believers such a bad name.

10 thoughts on “The Price of Atheism

  1. Agreed! I am not sure how rare this type of discrimination is, though. Seems to be talked about too often. I wish there was more tolerance and openness in our churches where as Christians we can really live the life that Christ calls us to live by loving other people in spite of their beliefs. I mean we have to do that enough just with other Christians, right? ;)

    • Absolutely.

      Certainly there’s no such thing as a perfect Christian and I can understand the burdens on the Christian character. But there requires dedication and effort to behave as Christ did. It seems like these people didn’t even try to follow their own principles so plainly laid out for them.

      I don’t believe the frequency of such incidents has increased. Merely the public is made aware of them more often through the mass media. Though they’re no less disturbing.

  2. Actually, in my experience this is no aberration. If you think that this is a small minority you are absolutely incorrect. Anyone coming out as an atheist experiences this and such incidents (like many similar types) are vastly underreported. Some, like me, don’t care. If someone has a problem with that it is simply their problem and a sign of their bad character. Why would I build relationships with people who are bigoted and prejudiced? But that’s just me. This poor kid has more guts than anyone in that town.

    What exactly changed when everyone found out the student was an atheist that caused other students and teachers to openly shun that poor kid? NOTHING! She was the same person before she came out. Nobody had any clue that she was an atheist. That should speak volumes as to who atheists are. We’re just like everybody else with one proviso- we don’t believe in (as Dawkins eloquently said) supernatural magic. Surprise!

    • This has less to do with that town’s religion and more to do with their personal character.

      As in my reply to Aaron, I believe the frequency of the incidents are quite the same. Only that we’re more aware of it due to the mass media, though the prospect isn’t any less disturbing. And, of course people can blog about their experiences, thereby reaching an even larger audience.

      We’re simply getting to know more often what’s really happening out there.

      Social hazing takes place in all segments of society, even within the Atheist community (the causes vary, but it’s mostly due to old fashioned class prejudice). I’ve befriended enough Atheists to be intimately aware of this fact. Likewise Buddhists also face discrimination within their own community for many reasons. Similarly, Christians as well.

      In fact, George Tiller, was also a Christian. Though that did not prevent him from being gunned down by a fellow “Christian”.

      • So, in other words, you are saying that religion does not have any effect with regards to improving people’s behavior. In that regard I agree. Indeed, I would say that Christianity causes an in-group/out-group schism that produces a very high level of intolerance to those who don’t believe the same as they do. Humanists, which most atheists are even if they don’t realize it, don’t make such tribalistic categorizations.

        I’ve n ever seen the ‘social hazing’ within the atheist community and I’m an active part of it where I live. In fact, till now, I’ve never heard of it and as such am extremely skeptical. Who am I kidding? I call bullshit on that one.

      • Please keep the language civil.

        Atheists believe in many things, just as all other people. Just that the supernatural isn’t one of them. The social hazing is the eventuality of any group where those beliefs (non-religious, but just as unique as our fingerprints) don’t come into harmony.

        It is when individuals form a “community”, based on an ideology or lack thereof, that the trouble starts. And like all “communities” people fall into different categories of differing social standing.

        Here’s the social strata as I’ve observed it within the Atheist community.

        Born atheists
        Top of the food chain. Those who have questioned unreasonable ideas from the earliest memory. Never truly been indoctrinated to any faith. Prides on the fact that they’ve always been rational. Except when it comes to examination of the community, of which they’re a part of.
        The most vocal within the community.

        De-converted atheists
        After years of dedicated practice and belief, their lives are changed after an exceptionally egregious incident. Possibly in the congregation or within their families. This incident leads them to question everything they’ve stood for and re-examine all they’ve lead to believe. They have the second most painful transition of all members within the community.

        Usually the second most vocal within the community, in part, due to their own trauma. They want to make sure as few others meet the same fate by trying to educate everyone they meet. Two of my friends fit into this group.

        “Grown into” atheists
        After suffering through a childhood of doubt, they simply “grow out of” their faith as adults. No special epiphany involved. One of my friends fit into this group.

        Former religious leaders
        The bottom of the barrel in terms of social standing within the community. They face the most difficult time being accepted and only on a trial basis at first. For the remainder of their time within the community, they will encounter scrutiny even in the most mundane things.

        The community will constantly check to see if these individuals “measure up” to the rest of their standards. This is doubly painful for these individuals as they’ve abandoned what was near and dear to their hearts for may years and, arguably, have suffered more than the ordinary de-converts.

        ——

        Please let me know if I’m wrong in my observations of the Atheist community.

        Let me say this as clearly as I can…

        Religion isn’t evil.
        The group is evil.
        The group will exert this evil in the form of harrassment in spite of the personal convictions of the individual;
        Irrespective of whether those convictions are grounded in religion or not.

        The fact that you’ve never heard of this doesn’t negate its existence.

    • I would kindly inquire that you refrain from falling prey to the very failings you claim to despise so strongly, and recognize that religion in and of itself isn’t to blame – rather, the groupthink that can (but doesn’t necessarily) arise from it is responsible.

      There are many atheists who are just as guilty of the same narrow-mindedness they point out in theists, only difference being theirs is reactionary.

  3. Pingback: What it takes to be an atheist under Talibanic belief « EXODIANS

  4. I guess I’m in the 3% mentioned in the clip that don’t know what to believe.

    I live in the Bible Belt and I see ‘Christian’ intolerance everyday. I’m like most agnostics and atheists, I don’t voice my beleifs (or lack thereof). I will be ostracized if I do.

    There’s something particularly unsettling where relgious intolerance is concerned.

    • Not having a religion isn’t a crime, but treating those who don’t as criminals, certainly is.

      The reason why religious intolerance is unsettling, as the old addage goes:

      “Stupidity may only cost a few lives. Ignorance destroys entire civilizations.”

      You may notice, those people who do ostracize the non-religious are also die-hard conservatives. Somehow that doesn’t seem like a coincidence. That is what happens when people put their own convictions ahead of those of their faith.

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